The wreckage of a small plane that crashed near Lacombe on Saturday has been taken to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada facility in Edmonton for examination.
Blackfalds RCMP responding to a distress beacon from the plane found the wreckage near Range Road 241 and Township Road 412, about 25 km northeast of Lacombe.
The male pilot was found dead at the scene, said police. A second male was taken to an Edmonton hospital with serious injuries.
On Sunday, two TSB investigators went to the scene of the crash.
TSB senior investigator Jared Doell said the wreckage has been removed and will be examined as part of the ongoing investigation. Doell said he could say little else about the incident this early into the investigation.
The plane was a Cavalier SA 102.5, a two-seater amateur-built aircraft.
Doell said the aircraft was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter with what is known as a G-switch.
“It takes a certain amount of pressure from an impact to turn it on because you don’t want it to turn on from bumping in a normal landing,” he said. “This particular ELT does send out a GPS signal as well.”
When the ELT is activated first responders in the area are soon notified. The beacons can also be programmed to send a signal to a plane owner’s first contacts, such as family, friends or other pilots. The pilot is also notified, so if it is a false alarm, they can switch it off and indicate it went off accidentally or was being tested.
Doell said the technology has improved over the years and first responders can now be directly much closer to crash sites.
“For any survivors, it’s life or death potentially.”
Lacombe Flying Club president Jon Fromm confirmed the pilot, who was a friend and club member, had flown out of the Lacombe airport before the crash around 5 p.m.
Fromm said out of respect for the families involved he did not want to say anything more about those involved.
The TSB examination and analysis phase of its investigation can involve reviewing all relevant documents, determining a sequence of events, conducting interviews and examining selected wreckage in the laboratory and testing certain components and systems, according to information on the TSB website.
Information from flight recorders, if they were present, will be analyzed along with other data. They may attempt to create simulations or reconstruct events and review autopsy and toxicology reports.
Investigators will also identify any safety deficiencies before making the results public and producing a report.